The Climate Crisis

With severe environmental degradation rapidly increasing as a result of human actions, Earth’s condition will only worsen if no measures are taken


Isabella Morales/ highlights

With the climate crisis in the world considerably worsening, the time left to save the planet is gradually getting shorter. Record unstable temperatures, increased pollution and the degradation of aquatic habitats have been widely spoken about by various news sources in recent years. As the situation worsens, it is clear that the time society has left to save the planet is ticking. However, in order to enforce regulations that can restore mother nature, it is the duty of world leaders to come together soon with a plan to improve the current climate situation. If not, Earth could be condemned to a new series of environmental calamities, not only impacting humans today, but also future generations. 

In the last decade, the world has seen considerable change in climate temperature trends.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concluded that the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998, nine of which occurred after 2005. 

“What humanity has gotten itself into is severe, and even then, the word “severe” does not cover just how critical of a crisis we are all in,” Gables Earth sponsor Elizabeth Kiely said.

This goes to show how alarming this issue has become within the last two decades. On a broader scale, since the late 19th century, the planet’s average surface temperature has risen by 1.62 degrees, according to NASA. These major climate trends, having developed since the start of the 1800s, are evidence that the Earth is feeling humanity’s impact. 

 “There is definitely a point of no return when it comes to climate change, with there eventually being a point where the atmosphere is saturated with carbon dioxide to the point that it would take hundreds upon thousands of years to return to normal,” sophomore William Hudson said.

Regarding human interaction with the Earth, the seas and oceans are suffering immensely from thousands of tons of debris polluting it annually. Consequently, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) found that more than a million seabirds along with 100,000 marine mammals die every year from plastic and other types of trash.

In terms of water quality, agricultural and sewage runoff contaminate the water supplies of places like India, where 70% of surface water is unfit for consumption, according to the World Economic Forum. This poses a major public health concern in India and countries with similar issues where waterborne diseases spread rampantly. 

Not only are these issues important for the preservation of the Earth’s well-being, but they have also become a public health concern to various places in the world. Global climate efforts like the Paris Agreement, allow for the world to have a goal in reducing carbon emissions to preserve the earth’s well-being. As of now, the European Union (EU) stated that governments are striving to maintain the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees celsius with an ultimate goal of limiting it to 1.5 degrees celsius, as concurred in the agreement.

While these climate goals will definitely make changes in the climate crisis, it is the duty of leaders throughout the globe to continue to persist on reducing human effects on the environment, by restraining pollution levels and climate change, all the while ensuring a safer and more prosperous future for the world.